The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have established the KNUST-IVI Collaborating Centre to conduct vaccine research and development for global health.

The centre will be a research and training site to implement ongoing and new collaborative projects.

This includes disease surveillance, vaccine clinical development, vaccination campaigns, and vaccine effectiveness.

Health economics studies for infectious diseases prevalent in the region such as typhoid and invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella are also included.

The centre, the first of its kind, was initiated by IVI.  It will enable joint research, development, and capacity-building activities to achieve regional health objectives as well as the UN’s global goals. 

Principal Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and Deputy Director General at IVI, Dr Florian Marks was optimistic the partnership will be crucial in curbing many diseases.

“We are extremely pleased that IVI and KNUST have officially established a Collaborating Centre to recognize our history of successful, scientific cooperation and to set the stage for future global health impact.

“We look forward to continuing our work toward a shared vision of eliminating typhoid and other vaccine-preventable diseases in Ghana and beyond,” he said.

Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo is Principal Investigator and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of KNUST.

“Following the opening of the KNUST-IVI Collaborating Centre, both parties will begin a mass vaccination campaign as consortium members of the Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine Introduction in Africa (THECA) programme.

“It seeks to assess the effectiveness of a typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) through two clinical studies, including a cluster-randomized trial in Ghana, to support the introduction of TCV into routine immunization programs in typhoid-endemic countries in Africa,” he explained.

Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson stressed the university’s contribution to health care delivery in Ghana.

She, therefore, asked the government to help complete the University Hospital.

“We are happy to have you with us today and remind you not to forget us in the sharing of health education-related resources.

“We importantly ask for your support in getting our University Hospital completed to support our teaching and service delivery efforts,” she pleaded.

Presidential advisor on health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare hinted of “an establishment of a bioequivalence Centre that will support drug and vaccine trials in the future”.

The vaccination campaign is set to start in July 2021.

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